Boston Celtics: Does Avery Bradley’s emergence make Rajon Rondo expendable?


Avery Bradley has filled in nicely for Rajon Rondo. Photo Credit: Mark Runyon, Basketball Schedule

Avery Bradley’s performance in Rajon Rondo’s absence prompts an intriguing situation.

Many experts thought the Boston Celtics’ season was over when Rondo partially tore his right ACL in a Jan. 25 loss against the Atlanta Hawks. However, the Celtics have survived with a 34-29 record and are third in the Atlantic Division behind the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets and hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference bracket at the moment.

Without Rondo the Celtics are 13-6 this season in large part due to Bradley.

Bradley is not matching Rondo’s numbers. He scores 9.7 points and records two assists per game. Before his injury, Rondo was having a career year averaging 13.1 points and 11.1 assists a game.

Rondo is irreplaceable as a player and frankly Bradley is doing a suitable job filling in.

Bradley’s shooting has improved, especially at the 3-point line. He shoots 33.7 percent from behind the arc and 70.4 percent from the free throw line.

Bradley’s major contribution is his defensive game.

He gets 1.3 steals a game for the Celtics and also pushes the tempo on defense, causing turnovers and putting tremendous ball pressure to opponents–all invaluable assets that are needed in the playoffs. Bradley and the Celtics could be matched up with the Indiana Pacers. If Bradley can put pressure on point guard George Hill, the Celtics would dominate this potential matchup.

Bradley has started to emerge, but it isn’t enough to make Rondo expendable.

Rondo, a general for the Celtics, grew into that role and has emerged into one of the best point guards today.

Bradley is still learning to become a point guard in his third year in the NBA. The jury should still be out on Bradley whether he could take Rondo’s role over.

Though Bradley would be invaluable on defense, he cannot replace Rondo’s offensive production … well, not yet anyway.